A witch, pug and zombie clown meet at the altar: Halloween wedding tradition continues in Contra Costa County

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With her face and arms painted green and her witch hat tilted, Desiree Oaxaca laughed as she struggled to plant a kiss — through a pug mask — on her new husband, Darius Johnson.

And not many people can say their officiant’s eyeball was dangling out of their head during their wedding, but this Antioch couple can.

Johnson and Oaxaca were one of the couples married on Halloween at the Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder’s office in Martinez.

Since 2013, the department gets into the spirit of the holiday by dressing up in elaborate costumes and outfitting the ceremony room with Halloween decorations. Paul Burgarino, department spokesperson, said the costumed officiants became a tradition after many couples requested staff members in costumes to be their officiants.

The turnout this year was quieter, about half of what it usually was in years prior, but a handful of couples excitedly took advantage of the orange- and black-ribboned altar.

Teena Post and Duncan Baughman from Concord made it a small and intimate affair and showed up to the clerk-recorder’s office with two young children and two witnesses. After meeting three years ago through a mutual friend at work, the couple decided to pull the trigger on Halloween because it’s “the creepiest day of the year,” Post said.

Married by two officiants dressed as Dr. Seuss characters Thing One and Thing Two, Post said choosing Halloween was a fun way to celebrate with their five-year-old daughter Tiffany, and one-year-old son Roman.

“Our anniversaries will now consist of trick-or-treating until they get too old, I guess,” she said.

For Baughman, getting married on the holiday was also a no brainer: “It’s easier to remember.”

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